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THE KNOWLEDGE BEING DAD RA ACTION CAME You don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to shoot home movies like a pro with these top tips. Family moments are precious so there’s no better time to sharpen up your camera skills. Create some timeless keepsakes by keeping these simple considerations in mind: 4 Watch the backgrounds. Look at what’s behind the subject. Bright colours, overexposed blotches of light, and garish patterns can be distracting. And remember, no one likes a tree growing out of their head. 1 5 2 6 3 7 Avoid ‘Zoom Fatigue’. That little zoom rocker on your handicam is there to help you get the perfect frame for your shot before you press record. If you want to capture that mischievous smile on your child’s face step back and then zoom in, then hit record. This creates space for them to act naturally without a camera in their face, and gives any humdrum scene a cinematic look. Steady your hands. Fast panning will give you shaky scenes, so take your time and capture the detail. If your camera supports ‘progressive scan’ use it, as it will look smoother overall (look for 24/25p instead of 50i). Mix it up. You can add variety by using high and low angles, or hold the camera at eye level to your subject for a no-fail cinematic look. Use wide shots to include interesting or meaningful scenery. Use close ups to capture emotional moments. Experiment and find your own mix of techniques that tell the story best. Remember tripods. For those long scenes when hand holding is not possible, tripods are perfect. A tripod can give any shot a more cinematic look, although handheld is often better for capturing unpredictable and spontaneous moments. Share your creation. Think about how and where you want people to view your video. Social media is a great place to share your videos and you can share easily via the Wi-Fi feature on Canon’s cameras. Have fun. Stepping back and simply observing can help capture those ‘slice of life’ family moments, but you’re still Dad first and foremost so feel free to get stuck in. See if you can coax funny reactions out of your family as you save the moment for posterity. A genuine warm smile caught on camera is worth a thousand pretty pans and special effects. ■ FQ 9